Sports betting in North Carolina was legalized in the summer of 2019, but the state has yet to launch the industry. That’s because Governor Roy Cooper has not yet signed the Tribal Compacts that have been delivered to him.
The Cherokee Tribe has already submitted all of the required applications and paperwork, and they have deals in place with the state. It’s unclear what is taking Cooper so long to sign the compacts, but this decision is costing sportsbooks and the state some valuable money.
The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) is the group that will eventually bring sports betting to the Tar Heel State, and they are familiar with the industry. Tribal gaming works much differently than commercial gaming, and there is much more to the process.
The EBCI already has gaming compacts in North Carolina, and they were looking to add sports betting to those compacts. Governor Cooper and other lawmakers have turned this into a difficult process, and it has delayed the launch by more than a year.
The EBCI and the Governor began negotiating the compacts back in September 2019, and it appears that everything is in place. The EBCI is simply waiting on the governor’s signature, and they are starting to grow impatient.
EBCI Chief Richard Sneed recently spoke to reporters and noted that they do not know what is keeping Governor Cooper from signing the compacts.
Caesars Sportsbook Ready to Open
The Cherokee Tribe owns and operates a pair of Harrah’s Casinos in North Carolina, and they are located in Murphy and Cherokee. Sports betting will be offered at both locations, and Caesars Sportsbook will be operating the industry.
Caesars already has things in place to launch as soon as the governor gives them the green light. Caesars is a big name in the sports betting industry, and they will offer a great service to the sports bettors in the state.
If a launch occurs before the start of the NFL season, then there will be some big promotions offered by the company.
Missing Out on Golden Opportunity
Even though the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic shut down live sports for more than three months, the sports world is now back in full swing. During September, all four of the major professional sports in the United States will be playing games at the same time.
North Carolina has already missed out on Augusts’ crazy month that saw professional games being played all day, every day. Launching by the start of the 2020 NFL season is still a reachable goal, but it’s looking more unlikely by the day.
Sportsbooks in the state are missing out on a large amount of revenue from the delay, and that money cannot be made up. With so much uncertainty surrounding collegiate sporting events, the state needs to capitalize on professional sports.
Sportsbooks are ready to launch, but it will be up to the governor to give them the green light.